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KSL-TV is about to lose another member of its sports staff - Steve Cyphers will soon be on his way to ESPN.

Cyphers, who's been with Ch. 5 for 4 1/2 years, willbecome a reporter for the all-sports cable network, contributing to shows such as "SportsCenter," "Game Day" and "Baseball Tonight."

"It looks like a great opportunity," Cyphers said. "What the heck, it'll be fun."

And he's looking forward to getting out from behind the anchor desk.

"It gives me more kicks to be a reporter," Cyphers said. "A little more so than watching things come down on the satellite dish, recording them and then talking about them later. I'm excited about the thought of actually being at the events."

Cyphers first interviewed with ESPN back in Connecticut 21/2 months ago. The network made him an offer in early June, but didn't commit to where they would base him. While salary was discussed, Cyphers had no idea where he'd be living and what his cost of living would be.

"It's not a get-rich-quick scheme by any means," he said of ESPN's offer. "We (Steve and his wife) didn't want to take the offer without knowing where we'd be located. It's hard to make a decision not knowing that.

"We didn't want to compromise lifestyle just to take a job that looks like a move up. It's been an agonizing 10 days waiting to hear."

Finally, ESPN called Thursday and said they wanted to locate Cyphers in the Washington-Baltimore area, a decision that suited him fine.

Cyphers, a former Colorado State football player, grew up in Grand Junction. His television experience includes a stint at a station in Syracuse, N.Y.

And while he's excited about going to ESPN, he's also grateful for the time he's had in Utah.

"It's been really good for us," Cyphers said. "That was the problem in making a decision (about leaving).

"KSL has a great commitment to sports. I've had a lot of opportunities here. But I think I'm maxed out on them."

The end result is that KSL loses another sportscaster.

"They tend to look at us a lot," said Spence Kinard, KSL news director. "We've been pretty successful in moving guys along."

Ex-KSL sportscaster Jim Nance was hired by CBS six years ago, and Jeff Hullinger made the move to a major-market station in Atlanta.

"We're proud of the guys, even though we'd like to keep them around longer," Kinard said.

KSL will begin the search for a replacement immediately, and Kinard says he's already been looking at several people just in case a job came open.

In the interim, Craig Bolerjack and Doug Miller will pick up the slack.